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Simple zoned ticketing outside major connurbations?

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peteb

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As the title suggests a simple zone approach to fares in rural areas. So eg: Worcester to Hereford one zone, Hereford to Shrewsbury another zone, etc. So a return from anywhere between Worcester and Ledbury to anywhere between Hereford and Shrewsbury is a two zone return, at a fixed price. Travel further and you add zone(s). The idea is its simpler to work out fares and easier to implement. Eg: £5 return in one zone, £10 return for 2 zones etc. A bit swings and roundabouts, the further you travel the better value it is, so making it more attractive vs car usage. There could be a simpler short trip version eg: £1 return between adjacent stations, so Worcester Shrub Hill to Colwall would be £4 return, but Worcester to Ledbury or Hereford would both be £5 as thats the zone maximum. Could this encourage more rail use and deter fare evasion?

Pre-covid there was a £3 evening return available Kidderminster to anywhere up to Morton in Marsh or Hereford. This idea follows that same fare logic but for all day sale.
 
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HST43257

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Once we know what peak time is again, you’d probably raise prices a little in those times
 

pelli

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Sounds similar to a rural bus system I used a long time ago in a place far far away. A map was published with the region divided into zones roughly 3 miles across. You pay for the number of zones travelled through, but with a minimum of 2 zones. (Without the minimum, short journeys would double in price if crossing a boundary.) I liked the fact that you could easily work out your fare beforehand, although you might have to consult the complicated zone map in the process - I certainly preferred it to having to enter my journey on a badly coded website, or worse, having to call the bus company or only finding out when you're in front of the bus driver!

(I note that that system has now been replaced with a circle-based system: If your journey fits inside a circle of radius X then you pay Y, with just four different sizes of circle and thus four different fares. Obviously this requires a bit more technology to work.)

By the way, if you make your zones really small then you essentially get a mileage-based system, which is being discussed in another thread!
 

Cdd89

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you make your zones really small then you essentially get a mileage-based system, which is being discussed in another thread!
This. Zonal systems are effectively a legacy of paper systems; they’re a convenient way of determining an allowable distance, with a small price increase to each subsequent band, in a way that humans can easily understand and which doesn’t need too much technology.

There are very few advantages to a zonal system, other than the ability to set fares that incentivise cross-region travel while avoiding a central area; does this really apply to rural areas? There are lots of disadvantages which typically mean that those with access to better transportation options often pay less (which is the wrong way around, when you think about it).

I’m presuming that a zonal system for a rural area would look like a set of hexagons on a map?
 
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